My Blog

A God-Awful Job (Grocer and Writer)

NOTE:

This is a modified version of the original.

The original version was much too offensive and I’ve only shown it to people I trust.

Hopefully, you will forgive me and enjoy this version just as well.

Here it is without further ado:

I’ve been working hard all day, but finally, it’s time for my fifteen-minute break. Happy to have a little relaxation, I clock out and walk to the covered terrace in the chilly December weather.

As I sit down on my break, I ponder to myself, “Why did I take this God-awful job in the first place?”

Then after a half-minute of pondering, I check my Go Phone for text messages.

There are two:

The first one reads, “It’s the first day of Winter, my favorite season. I think Winter is so romantic, especially now that I have you in my life.”

The second one reads, “Come get me when you’re done with work. I love you so much, baby.”

So, I reply, with the utmost honesty, “I love you too, baby and I count the hours when we are apart.” I send another message, “I’ll come get you as soon as my work is done, but I don’t know when that will be.”

Within a matter of seconds, I get a reply, “Just as long as you come get me, I’ll wait all night if I have to.”

My coworkers notice the bliss in my eyes.

The janitor, listening to foreign music on a portable world band radio, lowers the volume and asks, “Talking to your girlfriend?”

I nod at him.

“Is she pretty?” He continues.

“She is absolutely beautiful. I’m so grateful to have her in my life.” I tell him with much assuredness, then show a picture of her and I standing by the river.

He looks at the picture then says, “Wow, she sure is pretty! You and her could make beautiful children.”

“No, I haven’t been intimate with her yet. She deserves my utmost reverence,” I tell him soberly.

“You’re a good man.” The janitor says, smiling as he pats my hand.

The deli cook, also on break with us, has been quiet, up until this point. Now she is ready to pick a fight.

She looks up from her smartphone and remarks, with anger and contempt, “I bet she’s really nasty, but just pretends to be innocent with you.”

I try to keep calm and simply reply, “Nope. Actually she is a virgin. And so am I.”

The cook continues, asking, “How old is she?”

“None of your damn business. How about you get a life?”

The cook pulls a boxcutter out of her apron pocket and says, “You better not be disrespectful to me.”

I still try to maintain grace under pressure and say, “Why harm me because of someone whom I love with all my heart and who loves me in return?”

I then point to the security camera with a sign below that reads, “Every move you make is being recorded on video.”

I then say, “You’ve already committed assault with a deadly weapon and it was all caught on video. Smile for the camera! I suggest you leave me alone.”

“This isn’t over little boy! I know why you won’t tell me her age because she’s jail bait. I should call the police on you!”

“Whom are they actually going to believe? I’m not known for going around threatening physical violence upon whomever I disagree with but you are. Furthermore, I haven’t done anything illegal with her because, not only do I love her, but I also have great reverence for her. Do you the men in your life revere you? Probably not.”

The cook gets angry again, pulls out her razor and says, “I’m gonna get you and that slutty girlfriend of yours!”

Finally, I lose my temper and say, “Prove that she is slutty. You can’t. And since you can’t, that means we can sue you for defamation of character, but you probably don’t have a penny to your name, anyway.”

The cook is speechless but angry.

The janitor, though trying to hide it has a wide smirk on his face.

He turns his radio back on, until the cook says, “Turn off that old, outdated, boring racket-it’s offensive to me.”

“It’s a free country; I don’t have to,” The janitor protests.

“Turn it off or I’m going to bust it over your head,” The cook threatens.

I get angry and then tell the cook, “I believe that’s considered aggravated criminal damage to property, which carries a sentence of up to fifteen years in this state. You’d probably catch an aggravated assault charge in addition to that because you’ve been flashing that razor blade of yours. It was all caught on camera but I’ll gladly testify against you as well!”

“Y’all are ganging up on me!” The cook says with ignorance and hatred.

“No, we just want you to leave us alone. Go back to looking at whatever meaningless garbage you were looking at on your phone and don’t talk to us again.”

“You are going to pay for disrespecting me like that.”

Finally, I activate the voice recorder feature on my Go Phone and say, “Go ahead, keep making threats because everything else you say will be recorded and turned over to the cops.”

The cook finally quiets down, after showing me the middle finger.

My watch’s timer feature begins beeping indicating that my fifteen minutes are up. As I leave the break area, I tell the cook off “Well, I can’t argue anymore with you because I have to get back to work. You ruined my break, but I’m sure you’re proud of yourself because you delight in bringing misery to everyone you meet.”

The janitor follows me from far behind. Then, he puts the radio in his assigned locker and on his way back to the warehouse, he tells me, “Thank you for standing up for me, my friend, I don’t like her either.”

“Does anyone like her?” I ask.

The janitor laughs heartily and then, says, “You remind me of a younger version of myself. I love my wife like you love your girlfriend. That’s why I took this disgusting job with these dirty people, so I can support her and my unborn child.”

We resume our working and I think about the janitor’s words.

I stock the shelves with dry goods diligently trying to keep my mind off of the potentially serious threats from the cook. My mind is filled with anxiety, until a gentleman comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, young man, where might I find the remoulade sauce?”

“It’s hard to find, sir, so let me show you.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

I locate it for him and he places several jars in his cart.

Afterward, I ask him, “Is there anything else we can help you find this evening?”

“Yes, actually I need to make an order in the seafood department for my meeting tonight, but no one is there right now. There are plenty of fresh fish under the glass that I want to purchase.”

“I’ll take care of that right away sir, just follow me.”

We walk to the seafood department. Upon arriving, I activate the public address system, and speak into the mouthpiece, “Customer service is needed in seafood.”

The gentleman and I converse while waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.

He tells me, “Thank you for assisting me, young man. I wish everyone else was helpful, like you.”

“Thank you for your kind words, sir. I find helping customers to be more rewarding than just putting up dry goods all day and into the night.”

“They should promote you.”

“They never will. The good jobs here are given to those with connections, not competence.”

“That’s a shame man because you’re a good worker.”

“Thanks, that means a lot coming from someone like you.”

The gentleman smiles. We shake hands and continue conversing while still waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.

Suddenly, the assistant store director begins yelling at me, “Get back to work! This company does not pay you eight dollars an hour to run your mouth with customers.”

I pat the gentleman on the shoulder and tell him, “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to go. The seafood clerk will arrive shortly.”

However, he stands up for me and says to my boss, “No, that’s not right at all. This young man is very helpful and took care of me-unlike anyone else. I think I’ll change my mind on making such a large seafood order tonight.”

The assistant store director pulls me aside and says, “You are most definitely getting written up for this incident and for disciplinary action, you will stock the entire boxed gelatin aisle all by yourself from now on.”

The gentleman overhears and is even angrier on my behalf as he says pushing away his loaded shopping cart, “Oh really, since you are going to treat him that way, I’m canceling my revolving credit account. Take me to customer service immediately!” The gentleman then tells me, “Good luck young man, I wish you could serve me again, but I’m not shopping here anymore and neither will any of my business partners.”

The store director looks at me with anger and says, “This disgusting incident will not be forgotten, I promise you that. Because of your subversive behavior, I’m going to make your life here a living hell. And if you quit it would greatly pleasure me to watch you struggle to find a job elsewhere in this economy.”

I sulk, then begin to stock the boxed gelatin filled with even more anxiety, not only about violence from the cook but also job security.

At dinner time I clock out and buy a cup of Senor Rico rice pudding and a pint bottle of Borden Milk. I sit on the terrace and think about my girlfriend. For once, I have the break area to myself but I am so filled with anxiety to enjoy the peace. All too quickly my dinner break ends and I clock back in.

The work is difficult and tedious, but finally, I have the shelves stocked. Now I need to front and block the whole aisle.

I see the janitor walking by and he tells me, “Go home and spend time with your girl, I’ll do this for you.”

“Don’t you have a family to go home to?” I ask him.

“No, I’m in the country all by myself, but I need to send all the money I can back home, so my wife can eat well and our baby will be healthy.”

He then shows me a picture on his phone of his pregnant wife in a nightgown and says, “Isn’t she beautiful when she glows? I can’t wait to be a poppa.”

I nod, then say, “All right, you may front and block for me.”

“Good, because the boss man went home for the evening, so this will be our little secret. Just remember to always love your girl and treat her right. If you do, she will bring you plenty of joy.”

I nod. We shake hands and I go clock out.

Finally, I leave the store, fire up my old Toyota and head to my girlfriend’s parents’ house in the suburbs.

Upon my arrival, we embrace and kiss under the glow of a street-lamp.

“Let’s go to your house,” She says looking at me with puppy dog eyes.

My job may be God awful, but the love my girlfriend gives me is worth it and so much more…

Back to “Grocer and Writer” Stories

A Brief Proposal to Improve the Health of Truckers

I wrote the bulk of this yesterday evening (November 8, 2019) while going through some pretty bad back pain…

 

In my early teens, I had wanted very badly to be a long haul truck driver when I grew up.

It would have been a dream job for me.

It would have been a dream job because I was frequently studying and memorizing road maps to the point where my classmates referred to me as a “human GPS”, whenever we went on a field trip. I was just as eager to ride out the routes of which I had memorized on the maps I was studying. Around the age of fourteen, I was beginning to discover my interest in radio communications. I knew for some time that truckers used Citizen’s Band Radios or “CB” to communicate with each other. Around ages sixteen and seventeen my interest in railroads was starting to come back and I was also gaining an interest in marine logistics. Both railroad and marine workers also used their own dedicated radios to communicate with. At age seventeen I just knew I would have some sort of job in the transportation and logistics industries.

But then at seventeen and a half, I suffered a mental breakdown and would have to be medicated for the rest of my life.

These medications automatically disqualify me from all transportation jobs.

I never thought to use my writing as a way to earn money and I have yet to earn a single red cent from writing, by the way.

I eventually earned a diploma in HVAC, which is very hard to do with the medications I took and I also sustained a back injury in 2014, which made everything worse. The best I could possibly do is work at an HVAC or Electrical Supply company if I were to go back to work in the HVAC field.

Here is something I’ve noticed though:
Just about every truck driver I came across wound up on disability anyway.

Usually, it is because they have developed severe back pain, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases.

Truckers get severe back pain from sitting in the same position for hours to days on end. That also causes them to develop metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, because of the lack of physical activity, but also from having an energy-rich but nutrient poor diet due to constantly eating out.

My own back is hurting me as I type this and actually it was the back pain that inspired this piece.

The trucking industry is a very important aspect of the American and global economies, and that its personnel are very much needed to sustain life as we know it.

However, with many truckers ending up on disability before retirement age (and also having a poor quality of life after retirement), this puts a great strain on the already ailing healthcare system. And it will hinder the path to solvency for Social Security. I will go as far as to say that it is a heavy contributor to the already severe opioid crisis.

There is no easy nor comprehensive solution to this issue.

However, there is something, I think, that can reduce the problem at least a little.

What if, there was a national chain of truck stops that offered healthy meals buffet style?

The food offered could be fresh and steamed vegetables, grilled or baked lean meat and seafood, legumes and fresh fruits for both juice drinks and desserts.

No soft drinks, no fried food, no excessive use of salt, not an overabundance of animal fat and no overly sugary desserts would be available, though.

And the one dining could pay a flat rate for all you can eat.

Basically, I am expanding on the idea of Subway.

It could also be a nice place for those on disability who go eat out when they get their pension payments. It could be like a combination of Cracker Barrel, Ryan’s, Shoney’s and The Golden Corral, but with only healthy food comparable to that of Subway, but actual plate entree`s instead of just sandwiches. I myself am disabled due to several mental issues and, guess what: a back injury!  Anyway, I would love to eat at such a place! I know I would probably eat more than my fair share of green beans there though if such a place actually existed.

But then to further help the situation, there could be exercise rooms with gym memberships, possibly paid for on the company dime. This could save the company a lot of money in the long term and would allow for a healthier workforce.

Durn it, my back is killing me!

I hope to further elaborate on this in the near future, at least on my blog…

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

A Review of the Oregon Scientific WR601N Handheld Weather Radio with S.A.M.E.

For the record, I do not own the featured image on this page, rather I downloaded it from eBay and I give credit to whomever credit is due.

As you, the reader, can probably tell, I have an strong interest in Weather Radios.

I first read about a NOAA Weather Radio in the Summer of 1997 at the age of ten and a half whilst reading a hurricane preparedness pamphlet.

I wouldn’t actually own a NOAA Weather Radio until December of 2001 at the age of fourteen going on fifteen.

However, once I owned one, I would be completely fascinated.

My parents thought there was something wrong with me because of it.

Well technically there is something wrong with me, but when I was a teen, I was the only teen I knew of that was interested in radio electronics.

Nowadays, there are plenty of teens who are interested in radio electronics, especially weather radio, and sites like YouTube are living proof.

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong generation and should have been born ten to fifteen years later.

Then, I realize that if I was born ten to fifteen years later, my girlfriend and I probably wouldn’t be an item. I’m an older Millenial and she is a younger Millenial and honestly, I don’t want anyone else. No one comes close to her not even by a long shot. We make each other happy and it doesn’t matter to me that hardly anyone if anyone at all my age shares my interests. So, because of those facts, I am very grateful to have been born when I was born.

It was in my mid-twenties that I began to collect weather radios.

Now at the age of thirty-two-going-on-thirty-three, I am frequently visiting thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops, and hamfests to purchase gently-used vintage weather radios.

On November 2, 2019, I had some cash on me and went to my local GoodWill.

It was as if God Himself was telling me to go there because I would find a weather radio.

And in the electronics/appliances section, I found an Oregon Scientific WR601N in very good condition, but selling for only $1.97+tax.

I had been wanting one of these for a couple years but didn’t want to pay the MSRP.

This piece will be a review of that aforementioned weather radio.

What I purchased at GoodWill only included the radio, battery door, and lanyard. There was no manual, cradle or AC adaptor.

Still, for $1.97+tax, I’m not going to complain.

Performance-wise, this radio is a true winner:
The size is very compact and can be carried on your person or in a backpack without weighing the user down.

The antenna is short and stubby, but is rugged and pulls in the Weather Radio broadcast very well, even from forty miles away!

The speaker audio is clear and crisp but can be annoying when there is noise in the signal.

The radio runs on 3 AA batteries and the runtime seems generous.

There are a clock and calendar which I must say keeps time very accurately, like +/-1 second in a week!

There are two separate alarm times that can be set and the alarm is loud enough.

The radio receives all seven weather radio channels.

The radio is equipped with S.A.M.E. technology and can store up to six administrative divisions or monitor all six.

The blue backlight lights up the display brightly and evenly. It is activated by pressing the snooze button.

The housing seems to be built very well and could probably survive a few drops.

Also, the face of the radio is yellow, meaning it can be easily found in a dark room or cluttered baggage.

There is an external speaker jack.

The display can be expressed in English, French or Spanish.

There are only three real [albeit minor] complaints I have and they are:
The radio can be a bit tricky to program and operate and takes some getting used to.

The radio also has trouble standing by itself, even on a flat surface.

The radio should have better noise limiting circuitry since it will not work well near any source of electrical noise.

However, at the price I paid, I’m not going to make any case about the complaints.

Even though I didn’t buy it brand new and I don’t have all the right accessories, I have been EDCing this radio for the past week and I am totally satisfied.

While Midland is my favorite brand of Weather Radios, I’ll admit they could learn plenty from this model.

What I like most are the rugged and compact build and clear crisp reception.

It is good to have S.A.M.E., but I could take it or leave it since I would use this for traveling or outdoor activities, where S.A.M.E. isn’t always necessary.

Like other compact portable models, the WR601N would be well suited for an EDC bag, a bug out/bailout bag, or a safe room, all for monitoring the progress of the weather, without needing line current.

I’m really impressed all in all and this is a vast improvement over the Oregon Scientific WR-8000, which actually was the first weather radio I had ever owned.

I give this product a 4.7 out of 5 stars!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Streamlight Stylus Pro® Penlight

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page.  Rather it is the property of Streamlight Inc.

In my late teens, I had first discovered Streamlight flashlights.  I wouldn’t actually own one, a 3C Twin Task®, until the age of twenty-two.  I would later own a Scorpion®.

In March of 2010, at the age of twenty-three, I bought my first Streamlight Stylus Pro® at my local Batteries Plus (now Batteries+Bulbs) in Houma, Louisiana.  It set me back between $24-30 and I did EDC it for at least a little while.  LED technology hadn’t advanced enough in 2010 and this particular version of the Stylus Pro® gave off a measly 24 Lumens for 7.5 hours on 2 AAA batteries.  Still, it was very rugged and bright for its price of the time.  I was working as a grocer and would use it when picking up shopping buggies at night.   It was fun to show off in the nighttime parking lot at work.  I had also used it for roadside emergencies involving now ex-in-laws.  In late 2011, I had given it to a friend and went back to everyday carrying mostly Mini Maglites.

In early April of 2018, I had purchased another one at the Cabela’s in Gonzales, Louisiana, for a price of between $16-20.  The model had definitely advanced.  Brightness was now 90 Lumens, but I only bought it as a cheaper replacement for both of the 2AAA Pro Tac® penlights that I had misplaced.  I EDCed it briefly but ended up selling it in October of 2018.

Since the Summer of 2019, I had been wanting another Stylus Pro®, especially since I enjoy my Streamlight JR® so much.  Also, the brightness went up another 10 Lumens, now at 100 Lumens.  Even though I hated my grocer job, I do romanticize grocery work, probably even more so because I wrote my  “Grocer and Writer” stories.  So in late October of 2019, I ordered a brand new Stylus Pro®.  It came in today, November 7, 2019.  The best part is, I only paid $16.99 for it with free shipping!

According to Streamlight’s Website, these are the specifications on the Stylus Pro®:

 

  • White LED delivers 100 lumens; 62m beam; runs 8 hours; 950 candela-good enough for just about any everyday carry scenario.
  • Push button tail switch – momentary or constant on operation-tactically correct for law enforcement use or for those who know Morse Code.
  • Includes two “AAA” alkaline batteries and tear-resistant nylon holster-quite generous offer.
  • Type II MIL-SPEC abrasion and corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum construction with unbreakable, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens-will still look elegant even after long term everyday use. 

Streamlight is telling the truth about these specs, by the way!

In my opinion, the Stylus Pro® was always an awesome flashlight, but even more now since Streamlight regularly updates this product as LED technology improves.

I plan to EDC this flashlight in conjunction with my Streamlight JR®, possibly even side to side in my pocket!

If I ever to grocery work again, this will be my work flashlight, both for picking up buggies at night or working in dark coolers and/or freezers.  And if there was ever a power failure on the job, Lord knows I would light up the warehouse or sales floor.

What strikes me as odd though is that the Stylus Pro® is serialized while the JR® is not.

If an updated version of the Stylus Pro® is ever released, I will [eventually] be buying one.

Why can’t it be made here in America though?

Well if it was, it would probably cost that much more.

All in all, I give this product a 5 out of 5 stars!

Back to “Product Reviews”

 

 

A Date at The Riverwalk (Grocer and Writer)

My girlfriend and I have been together a week and a day. Religiously we text each other. Today I want to take her out on a date. If she agrees it will be the first time we physically see each other since we met.

First I get dressed, then eat my simple breakfast of buttered toast and orange juice. I won’t eat much, just in case my girlfriend agrees to go out today and we can eat at a restaurant.

Now, it’s time to call her.

I hear it ring, but then she picks up, “Hey you!” She says.

“Hey. How would you like to go shopping and eat out with me on the river?”

“That would be wonderful. I’d love to.”

“How soon can you get ready?”

“Well, I’m in my night clothes right now, but give me about forty-five minutes.”

“Awesome. I need to get ready as well.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“I’m going to throw my arms around you.”

“And what else?”

“Well, I’d kiss you, too, that is if only you wanted me to. I feel such a reverence for you and don’t want to overstep my bounds.”

“Of course I’d want you to kiss me. In fact, you better kiss me!”

“Then yes, I will kiss you with immense passions.”

“No one else wanted to kiss me.”

“What fools they were. They have no idea what a wonderful and beautiful person they rejected.”

Suddenly the phone signal cuts out.

“Baby, did you say something?” I ask her.

“I told you before and I’ll tell you again, I love you!”

My God. She just told me she loved me. I am in shock and awe, but I also feel the same way. I’ve felt this way about her almost since we’ve met.”

She then asks, “Do you love me as well?”

Assuredly, I answer her, “Yes. I definitely do. It’s just I’ve been too afraid of scaring you off by telling you.”

“You don’t scare me at all. I trust you! Now let me get ready so we can go out together.”

“Okay. I’ll get ready too. You know what, baby?”

“What?”

“I love you!”

“I love you too!”

We both then hang up and I finish getting ready.

Not long after I get a text.

It reads, “I know you need to conserve your minutes, so I’ll text you when I want you to pick me up.”

I sit in my living room, watch my television and wait. I adjust the rabbit ears and scan the channels, but there are mostly talk shows and soap operas on right now.

I decide to watch a soap opera as they had been inspirational to my writing in the past.

Now the television has my undivided attention.

Finally, just as the episode concludes, my phone alerts me of a new text message, “I’m ready now, so please come get me. I love you so much!”

I reply, “I’m coming right now and I love you too!”

I place my phone in my pocket, then walk out the front door, locking it. The weather is bleak and dreary, as I walk down my steps, across my front yard, and to the curb. I shut my hurricane fence, then get in my car. Thankfully it starts right up. I leave my neighborhood and get on the Interstate. I drive until I come upon the exit for her subdivision and take it. As I approach her house, where she is standing in the driveway eagerly waiting for me.

I see her beautiful face and step out of my car. We embrace, then stare into each others’ eyes. Passionately we kiss. She moans with pleasure and excitement. I pet her hair and she rubs my buttocks.

We smile lovingly at each other, then she says, “Let’s get out of here before my mom wakes up and confronts us.”

“Good idea baby.”

So we walk to my car, then I open the passenger door for her, to which she steps in and kisses me.

I then sit down in the driver’s seat and we leave the suburbs.

As we are driving, I tell my girlfriend, “I have to go to my job and pick up my check first, then cash it.”

“That’s fine. Just as long as we can be together.”

She then leans against me as we head downtown.

I park my car in the parking garage of The Downtown Grocer, then step out. I open the passenger door for my girlfriend and we walk into the store hand in hand. She holds herself close to me with her head close to my shoulder and her hand in my back pocket.

Suddenly, my boss, the assistant store director confronts us and angrily yells, “If you want to continue working here, you will stop the lewd behavior this instant. It disgusts me and the customers.”

Knowing I need my job, I humbly reply, “Yes sir,” Then we let go.

I walk to the service counter then pick up my check. An indifferent cashier reminds me of a five dollar cashing fee.

I consent to cash it anyway because I need my money.

After I am handed my cash, my girlfriend whispers, “It’s horrible how they treat you here.”

“I know, but where else could I work?”

We then walk back to the parking garage and I unlock my car, then open the passenger door for my girlfriend. She steps in, then I sit in the driver’s seat and we leave.

“Let’s try and forget about this miserable place and focus on each other. I know I want to.”

“Good idea.” My girlfriend says, then rests her head on my shoulder.

We drive through the city streets then finally make it to the river.

We walk into the shopping area and I say, “I dare anyone to tell me not to hold you out here!”

She kisses me and we walk together

We come upon a coffee shop.

“Are you hungry?” I ask her.

“Yes, I’m starving. My mom went on an eating binge yesterday and ate all the food in the house.”

“Well let me feed you then.”

She kisses me sweetly then we enter the shop.

I order us each a cup of hot cafe’ au lait and a big plate of beignets, then pay the cashier.

She scarfs down her food, but I think she is so cute.

After we are finished with breakfast we continue to walk, holding hands.

Though the weather is still bleak, I tell her, “There is something about this city at this time of year that inspires me to write.”

“You write beautiful stories, I’ve never read anything like them.”

I then tell her, “You know, you are like someone straight from one of my stories. It is as if you came into existence just from what I dreamed and penned. Hopefully, you will always be mine and give me even more inspiration.”

She strongly grabs me, steals a kiss, then says, “Not just hopefully, but most surely I’ll always be yours. You are so perfect for me!”

I kiss her with such a loving passion in front of everyone on the walkway.

The people smile at us, for the most part at least.

We walk together for a few hours until we are hungry again.

There is a fish and chips shop right in front of where we are standing and I ask her, “Would you like to eat here?”

“I would love to, but I’m already so fat and I’m just going to get fatter.”

“It wouldn’t matter to me, I would love you no matter how big became. Yes, I am madly attracted to your body, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also deeply in love with your soul! Besides, with your mom eating all the food in the house you need some nourishment, so let’s get you a hearty meal.”

She tightly embraces me and shouts, “Oh, I love you so much!”

“And I love you just as much!”

We walk in and I order us a large platter of deep fried cod fillets and deep fried potatoes along with coleslaw, hushpuppies, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Then I order us each a large cup of Pepsi.

After I pay the cashier, we are served and we sit down to eat.

We happily eat. I’m glad I can give her a decent meal.

Soon the platter is empty and we continue on our walk.

There is a cruise ship passing on the river and sounding its horn. She pulls out her smartphone then takes a selfie of us with the ship in the background.

“Baby, please Bluetooth this to my phone so I can have it as the background.”

“Sure. And I’ll make it my background as well.”

She then transfers a copy of the picture to my phone.

We continue walking until we come upon a gift shop.

I buy her a Casio Baby G watch.

I then place the watch on her wrist and say “I wish I could buy you something more elegant than a Casio Baby G, but this is all I can afford.”

She smiles then says, “I know you want to get nice things for me, but you don’t have to. Just give me your time and your affections.”

“Baby, I will give you all the time I can, but I just want you to have things to have and think of me.” I pause then show her my watch and say, “I wear a Casio G-Shock too. It’s so I can keep track of time while I work.”

We continue to walk up and down the walkway.

“At least we’re burning all those calories from breakfast and lunch,” My girlfriend says.

I nod but then reply, “Yes, it’s a good idea to exercise, but I love you just the way you are. I longingly imagine how wonderful it would feel to hold you at night.”

We both blush, afterward then share another kiss.

The sun begins to set on the river. A flock of birds takes off in flight. The street musicians are playing their harmonies and melodies. My girlfriend and I get lost into each others’ eyes as we caress one another.

The moon is now up in the sky.

My girlfriend says, “I have to get back home before my parents realize I’m gone, but I am going to miss you so much.”

“I’ll miss you too, but we can do something again on my next day off.”

“When will that be?”

“This Sunday.”

We kiss once more, then leave the river. After we get to my car, I open the passenger door for her then I get in on my side. We head to the suburbs where I drop her off then watch her go inside.

Afterwards, I go to my house and sleep, dreaming many dreams about her.

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A Telephone Conversation on Black Friday (Grocer and Writer)

I’m just getting off of work and headed home. It was a very stressful Black Friday. I park my car against the curb, then exit it, locking the doors. I open the gate to my hurricane fence and cut across my front yard. I then unlock my front door, then enter my living room. I walk to the kitchen and get a can of Best Choice Cherry Cola from my old refrigerator, then back to the living room where I sit on the sofa and drink.

I turn on my television and adjust the rabbit ears to catch the late local news. An indifferent reporter tells stories of newsworthy events over the course of the day.

Suddenly my phone rings. It’s my girlfriend calling.

So I answer, “Hello, baby.”

“Hey, you!” She replies.

Reluctantly, I tell her, “I’m glad you called, I really am. But I have to conserve my minutes for work.”

“Oh. I see.”

“I’m so sorry, but I’m low on minutes as it is.” I pause then continue, “I have unlimited texting and would be willing to text you all night long if you wish.”

“Yes. I can do that. I’d really love to hear your voice more, but I’ll text you if it means we can keep in touch.”

“I know I’ve found someone wonderful if you’re willing to put up with that!”

“You’re making me blush!”

There’s an awkward silence, but then she says, “Well let’s hang up so we can text each other and you don’t run out of minutes.”

“Okay, baby.”

“All right. Bye for now.”

“Bye.”

We hang up then I begin to type out a message, “I’m definitely happy you’re understanding of my situation and I want to get to know you more.”

Seconds pass, then she replies, “i wnt 2 get 2 kno u 2”

“Then ask me something.”

“ok how did u end up n the city?”

“I wanted to get away from my parents and found work and cheap real estate. The Downtown Grocer hired me on the spot, the same day I applied in fact. The people who sold me my house were all too eager to get rid of it.”

“i lik how u use good grammar wen u text. no 1 els i kno does that.”

“Thanks. I want to be a writer you know. You should try using proper grammar when you text as well.”

“Okay, I will from now on. You know you write beautiful stories.”

“Thanks. That means plenty coming from you.”

“I would know. I was an honor student before I dropped out and English was my favorite subject.”

“Why did you drop out?”

“Because there is no bus transportation to the private school I was attending and my mom is always loaded.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Yes, and I would be tormented horribly if I attended the public school in my district because I’m so fat.”

“I think you’re absolutely beautiful, but I know how cruel high school students can be. So I can’t say I blame you.”

“You’re making me blush again.”

“I wish I could see your pretty blush.”

“You can. I’ll take a selfie and send it to you.” “Let me walk to the bathroom mirror.”

A few minutes pass, then the picture comes in. I see lot’s of red in her pale white face. I’m very attracted to her.

“You are so darn cute!” I tell her, then continue, “Did you ever have a boyfriend before me?”

“Nope. I just had crushes on a lot of boys but they all turned me down because of my weight.”

“Well they were such fools to do so, but that makes you even more special.”

“Why? Because I’m a virgin?”

“Yes. If only you knew the reverence I have for you.”

“Lot’s of people mocked me for being a virgin.”

“Well don’t worry about them, because they don’t even matter.”

There is another awkward silence, but then I say, “It’s cold in here. I have to turn my floor furnace on. I’ll be right back.”

With my phone in hand, I walk to the thermostat in my master bedroom and raise the target temperature so my floor furnace comes on.

I hear the relays click and the gas valve open up and the flames ignite.

Seconds later, my phone also goes off, indicating a new message, “I wish I was there to keep you warm.”

“I would be honored to sit next to you wrapped up in a blanket. But, what would your parents think?”

“I don’t think they would mind once they see how sweet you are, but if they did, they can only control up until February 4th, because then I’ll be eighteen.”

“Still, I’d like to stay on their good side.”

“You wouldn’t see them much anyway, my dad is always working and my mom is always loaded on pills and booze.”

“What does your dad do for a living?”

“All I know is that he is a business executive, but he puts his job before everything else. He chases that money but money isn’t everything, you know.”

“It makes life easier.”

“But it’s not worth tearing up your family, nothing is.”

“That much is true.”

“Promise me, no matter how successful of a writer you become, that you’ll always make time for me.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be successful.”

“Just promise me. My dad knows people who could get you published.”

“You’re right. I promise and swear to you that you’ll always be my top priority. I’m just thankful you put up with me and this God awful job I have now.”

“It won’t always be this way, things will get better. Just be patient and have some faith.”

“Thanks for the encouragement!”

“Anytime. Now I have to go. My mom just woke up and she is very belligerent.”

“Okay, text me when you can and hopefully soon I can take you out on a date.”

“That would be wonderful! I can’t wait ’til then. I guess I’ll tell you good night.”

“Good night, baby.”

I put my phone on to charge, then I take off my work clothes and go to bed, dreaming many dreams about her…

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A Meeting in the Park (Grocer and Writer)

I sit alone on a park bench and write in my composition book. Creating love stories somehow fulfills my life and I firmly believe that doing so will bring good to me someday, I can almost feel it. There is something about how the Autumn sky, cold weather, and my unique surroundings all set the perfect mood for being creative. I am deeply focused on my work and know I should get as much of it done as possible. Today I am off, but tomorrow I have to be putting up grocery stock at seven o’clock in the morning. It will be long and grueling hours, so writing these stories is my only escape from that cold hard reality. Suddenly, a cute young lady walks by. She looks at me and smiles. I smile back, then resume my writing. She walks away for a little while but, then, wait, she’s pacing up and down the cement path near me. I can’t help but adore her as she repeatedly passes by-she is so beautiful. I now realize that we were the only two human beings in the park, everyone else is enjoying Thanksgiving with their families. I look up at her and she smiles sweetly.

“Hi,” She says.

“Hello,” I reply.

“Could I sit with you?”

“Sure, I guess.”

Smiling, even more, she continues, “You’re cute.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Do you think I am also cute or am I too fat?”

“I think you’re very beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“Good. You make me feel special!”

There’s a very brief silence, but then I have an escalating concern, so I say, “I’m very happy that you want to sit with me, but don’t you have a family to go home to?”

“I do, but my parents are fighting like cats and dogs and Thanksgiving was canceled.”

“That is awful. I am so sorry you have to go through that,” I reply, then awkwardly hug her, just in an attempt to give her comfort.

She looks at me, then asks, “What about you? Don’t you have any family?”

“I do, but they’re all far away from me. I can’t afford to travel to them and they can’t afford to travel to me.”

“Do you work?”

“Yes. I’m a stocker at The Downtown Grocer, it’s a God awful job. I can do so much better if only I had the chance.”

“How can you do better?”

“With this,” I show her my composition book and continue, “I am trying to become established as a writer.”

“Let me read.”

“Sure,” I say, then hand my book to her.

She begins to read and is smiling from ear to ear.

“These are beautiful, I love them. Could I borrow your pen?”

“What for?”

“I want to write something for you,” She says, blushing.

“Here you go,” I say, then give her my pen.

She is smiling brightly as she writes, then she shows me. It’s a ten digit number.

“That is for you.”

I too am blushing, but then I ask, “How old are you, anyway?”

“It’s impolite to ask a girl her age, but that’s all right because I think you are nice. You’re cute, too, but I told you that already.”

“So, I will re-state my question; how old are you?”

“I’m seventeen; if you must know.”

“You’re young.”

“I may be young, but you seem like a sweet guy.” Now she gave me a peck on my cheek.

“You know I am twenty-two and I can get in plenty of trouble.”

“Wow, I thought you were my age. I still like you, though.” There is a brief pause, but then she continues “You don’t have to worry about getting in trouble because I won’t make you do anything illegal.”

“Are you asking me out?” I ask.

“Yes.” She humbly replies, blushing.

There’s an awkward silence now; but then she asks again, “So, will you be mine?”

I stare at her for just a moment. She looks at me as if she would cry. I see a potential for love and companionship, but I also see a potential for legal trouble. She’s continuing to stare longingly at me and I am beginning to look at her with affection as well. I want to make her happy because no one else has ever paid this kind of attention to me before. Here’s a girl who enjoys my writing and for some reason or another has fallen for me, albeit unusually quickly. No other women or girls were ever interested in me, because of my personal quirks constant awkwardness. She seems to see past them. Finally an opportunity to love and be loved!

I will tell her. I must tell her, “Yes. I’ll be yours because love knows no numbers. Forgive me for making you wait, I’m just nervous that’s all.”

“Don’t worry; I forgive you. Just know that you don’t have to be nervous around me.”

“I’ll try not to be.”

She’s joyfully smiling and kissing me with passion. I kiss her in return.

“Could I have your phone number as well?” She asks me.

“Sure,” I reply, then call it out.

Instantly; she programs it into her phone and kisses me again. I program hers into my phone as well. We sit on the park bench for hours and I read to her. I know she will give me plenty of inspiration for some time to come, maybe even forever. Finally, the sun begins to set and the Mercury begins to drop.

I ask her with concern “Shouldn’t you be home?”

“I guess. Could you walk me home?”

“I’ll drive you home instead.”

Her eyes light up and she kisses me. We walk to my old Toyota and I take directions from her until we arrive at her parents’ home in the suburbs. I park in front of her parents’ driveway and opened the car door for her.

She gives me a long goodnight kiss and says “Call me.” Afterwards, she walks inside and waves at me from the window.

I go home and sleep, feeling happy and fulfilled. My writing indeed brought good into my life, just as I had firmly believed.

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